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Oh, the places you’ll go with Dr. Seuss

Amazing world: A statue of the ‘Cat in the Hat’ at Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.

Amazing world: A statue of the ‘Cat in the Hat’ at Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.   | Photo Credit: Steven Senne

Museum celebrating American author showcases artwork that has never been on display before

The squiggly, pink handrails outside the entrance to the front hall decorated with scenes from And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street welcome the visitor with a cheery message: “You’re off to Great Places!”

Walking into the museum that recently opened to the public in the American author and illustrator’s hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts, is like walking into one of his beloved children’s books.

The museum dedicated to Theodor Geisel who under the pen name Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated dozens of children’s books including The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham features interactive exhibits and artwork never before displayed publicly and explains how his childhood experiences in the city about 145 km west of Boston shaped his work.

“He would absolutely be at ease here,” said Leagrey Dimond, one of Geisel’s stepdaughters. “And to know that he’s going to be here permanently, safe, protected, that people who want to know more are going to make this trip here to see him, it’s perfect.”

Aimed at children

Examples of Geisel’s early advertising work and Second World War propaganda and political illustrations that critics consider racist are conspicuously absent, but that’s because the museum is aimed primarily at children, said Kay Simpson, president of the Springfield Museums complex. The organisation has in the past hosted exhibits of Geisel’s wartime work, she said.

Children are definitely the focus of the first floor of the museum, created in conjunction with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the family company that protects Geisel’s legacy. It features games and climbable statues of Horton, the stack of turtles from Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories and Thing 1 and Thing 2 from The Cat in the Hat.

Visitors are taken through Geisel’s boyhood bedroom, his grandparents’ bakery and brewery and different rooms painted in brilliant blues and radiant reds, and decorated in almost fanatical detail with scenes from the books.

The museum’s second floor has a more intimate feeling with the actual furnishings and assorted knickknacks from Geisel’s studio from the California home where he lived until his death in 1991 at age 87.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 2:03:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/oh-the-places-youll-go-with-dr-seuss/article18724381.ece

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